Friday, February 15, 2008

Heat wave

Date: Feb. 14
Mileage: 40.2
February mileage: 199.5
Hours: 4:00
Temperature: 39

I set out today under drizzly skies and my very best slush suit. The weather forecast called for 42 degrees.

I shimmied the handlebars over what after three solid days of rain has finally returned to bare pavement. The studded tires crackled and I tried to remember the last time I rode this mountain bike; before I moved - two weeks, at least, maybe three. The last time I rode this mountain bike, the hub froze. Today it darted across the pavement, light and fast. A cool 35 pounds lighter than my fully-loaded Pugsley. I felt an invisible burden lift away.

The rain started to dry up just as the sweat started to flow. I stopped to peel off my layers - balaclava and gloves stuffed in pockets. The fleece hoodie tied around my waist. Bare skin and a 15 mph tailwind. Only the decimated snowpack betrayed an exciting sensation of summer.

I arrived at the glacier in what seemed like record time - something more akin to summertime mileage. My fitness goals behind me, I pulled the bike up to the edge of the lake and made myself a comfortable seat in the snow. I pulled a Clif Bar out of my handlebar bag, soft as a freshly baked cookie. I took tiny bites as I gazed at the skyline of the surrounding mountains, the way the glacier curved downward like a shattered S, the reflections in overflow across a plane of rotting ice. I wondered if I had ever lingered in one spot at the glacier this long. I've always been on the verge of rushing off somewhere else ... the pursuit of mileage; the urgency to stay moving and stay warm. Today even my wet feet felt toasty in their cocoon of Neoprene as I sat, still, for a while, soaking it all in.

I thought this may be a nothing ride. Junk mileage. And everything I needed.

5 comments:

  1. Just before she posted this Jill wrote:
    > My head is in a much better spot today.

    Blimey, you weren't joking! :-)

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  2. Sometimes the rides / hikes /runs with no goals turn out to feed the soul and body more than the structured ones.

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  3. Anonymous10:37 AM

    Jill,
    Glad you find yourself back on track for your upcoming adventure. Otherwise, what would all the backseat adventure seekers, who are following you escapades, do for their adrenalin fix? David’s post puts it very nicely by stating that the best times in life are most often the unplanned ones. Being in the present moment is referred to as “Satori”. Isn’t that what your adventure is all about? Keep on keeping on. You will do what you have to do to be successful. One quick request please. Do not scare your faithful followers again. We may have to find another thrill seeker to satisfy our needs.
    You go girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    RC

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  4. Ah yes, a refreshing and clear head. You're in your zone.

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  5. I guess all my rides are junky ones. I'm good with that.

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